SETTING THE STAGE
Many Artists throughout the history
of art have used the technology of their time to assist in the creative
act. Art and technology have always been linked through the artist
either embracing the technology or reacting against it. "Art and Technology",
a cutting edge exhibition curated by Maurice Tuchman for the Los Angeles
County Museum in 1971 presented collaborations between artists and engineers.
Several of the installations relied on early forms of digital technology.
Set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam war, the critics attacked the
exhibition as a marriage between technology, the museums, and big business.
In a sense this was true due to the fact that in most cases government
and business were the only institutions that could afford to own the technology.
Only a few artists were allowed into these labs to collaborate with the
scientists and engineers. Most artists did not have access
and were traditionally mistrustful of both institutions. This all changed
in the late seventies. Against an intellectual background of dematerialization
and art viewed as information, the invention of the microprocessor and
integrated circuits drove down the size and price of the technology used
to create mainframe computers.
is a group retrospective
of the work of 8 artists, who either emerged from, or co-invented Los Angeles
computer art "digilantism".
In the early eighties the
"personal computer" industry, created by a group of hobbyists turned
entrepreneurs, rose up from the suburban streets to become a billion dollar
business. In doing so, it put digital technology in the hands of
the people for an affordable price. Artists
in the early eighties who saw potential in digital technology gained access
in several ways. In addition to the artists who worked with scientists
and engineers in corporate environments on high end equipment, others used
equipment from educational and employment situations. Also there
were artists who, much like the enthusiasts, created the PC in the
early eighties, bought or built their own equipment with the idea that
anyone should have access and that the quality of the art should not depend
on the level of equipment. By the turn of the nineties a crisis in representation
arose around reproduction
of imagery, who it belong to, and where it resided. Information became
a commodity, however the computer in an interactive and hypermedia context
had now established itself as both a formidable art-making tool and
THE DIGILANTE MOVEMENT
In the middle eighties, a group
of Los Angeles artists embraced digital
technology before there was
anyone around to recognize this spontaneous initiative as part of an international
movement. Digital art in Los Angeles took root and flourished in a scene
that was built by the artists themselves. These artists secured the venues,
mounted the shows, published the mailings and self-promoted a series of
exhibitions that are historic as their legacy is not as an alternative
to some other series of artist-produced Los Angeles
digital art exhibits. In fact,
there weren't any others....
Michael Wright as an in-joke
with Victor Acevedo referred to this aforementioned group of art activists
as the "DIGILANTES". These individuals were instrumental in establishing
the digital art scene in Los Angeles. This group includes artists Wright
and Acevedo, Dona Geib, Michael Masucci, Mason Lyte ,David Glynn, and art
historian Patric Prince, who's art historical focus is art and technology.
"Digilantes" is a play on words as named after the self-organized 19th
century 'law men' in the American West, who were alert, watchful, and
advocated the taking of action into
one's own hands.
A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DIGITAL
The 1980's witnessed a growth of
interest in computer graphics at educational
institutions. In 1980-1
Art Center College of Design hosted lectures on computer
graphics at by well-known computer
scientist James Blinn. Also at ACCD, was a
lecture-survey class on CGI
taught by film theorist Gene Youngblood. Eudice Feder-Mankin offered a
class in digital graphics output via plotter at Cal State Northridge.
One man show: Computer Art
by David Em at The Long Beach Museum of Art, a
solo exhibition with guest
lecture by James Blinn and David EM. A hands-on
computer graphics class
was offered by Leonard Lombardi and Art Numora at
the Long Beach Museum of
Art Video Annex. Another special hands-on
workshop class was taught
by Frank Dietrich. Recently arrived from Chicago,
Frank had been involved
with the Tom DeFanti-Dan Sandin crowd at the
National SIGGRAPH Headquarters-he
went on to work with Silicon Graphics
in his workshop included Victor Acevedo and Karen Kennedy who later turned
up as one of the principles of MVC (see 1986).
Hands-on computer art classes
are offered at West Coast University taught
by Tony Longson on a regular
basis. Despite the interest on the
educational front, digital
art had a difficult time entering the mainstream
of the art world and needed
alternative venues for its continuance.
"Cyber Tapestry" at EZTV
Only three years after the
introduction of the PC to the general public,
EZTV mounted its first computer
art show called 'Cyber Tapestry" which
featured work by Leslie
Wilson. EZTV was founded by artist John Dorr in
1979 to give artists access
to video and electronic art production and
The facility included a gallery-theatre as a
multi-media exhibition venue.
EZTV quickly became the center of the Los
Angeles digital underground
by virtue of sponsoring or co-sponsoring many
significant digital art
exhibitions. Michael Masucci has been a principle
member of the EZTV staff
since 1983, the year that it was incorporated.
A digital artists' collective
was created at the Los Angeles Museum of
Science and Industry. Their
"The Creative Computer"
featured the work and computer graphic
demonstrations by Dona Geib
and Edie Paul.
Beyond the Threshold
EZTV participated in a LA
Siggraph sponsored multi-media performance and
"Beyond the Threshold" at the Palace in Hollywood. This
event was co-produced by
Bob Gelman, Joan Collins and Ron Hays. Victor
Acevedo curated a show of
digital art prints in the lobby of the theatre.
"Print-n/Print Out" at Palos
Verdes Art Center, was juried by Conner
Everts, Palos Verdes, Cal.
Dona Geib won an award for her digital work.
Modern Visual Communications
a.k.a. MVC - a short lived (6 months) gallery dedicated to showing digital
and video art is established by Richard and Karen Kennedy. Exhibiting artists
among others included Guy Marsden, Diane Piepol, Ed
Emschwiller, Woody and Steina
Vasulka. Acevedo designed the announcements
and wrote PR material for
"Computer Superstars" at
EZTV a group show among others including artists
Rebecca Allen, Shelley Lake
and Montxo Algora.
February: Los Angeles Center
for Photographic Studies (LACPS) annual
members exhibition at The
Brand Library Gallery, Glendale, CA. Primarily a
photography show, this show
marks the public premiere of Victor Acevedo's
Acevedo in "Metropolis".
One person show of digital work by Victor Acevedo
mounted at Metropolis restaurant
on La Cienega blvd. in Los Angeles.
Michael Wright exhibits
his first digital print in "The Flesh and the Spirit"
Art Store Gallery, Los Angeles,
"Siggraph/LA Art: 1990"
"Siggraph/LA Art: 1990"
A Group show at EZTV: This show was co-organized
By Patric Prince, Victor
Acevedo and Michael Masucci. A small catalogue was
published and has since
become a collectors item. This exhibition the work of
Victor Acevedo, Rebecca
Allen, Max Almy, Teri Yarbrow, Gloria Brown-Simmons,
Ron Davis, David Em,
Shelly Lake, Tony Longson, Stewart McSherry,
Kamram Moojedi, Vibeke Sorensen
and James Wrinkle.
David Glynn exhibits his
first digital work at the ACM/SIGGRAPH '90,
Art Show, in Dallas, Texas
curated by Patric Prince.
An exhibition called "Hard
Copy," sponsored by Verbum Magazine' at
University of California
at San Diego included among others work by David Glynn
and Stewart McSherry.
Verbum Digital Gallery at
The "Verbum Digital Gallery"
at the first CyberArts International
Conference, at the Biltmore
Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles featured work by Victor Acevedo, Stewart
McSherry, Michael Johnson, Ellen Sanders and Stephen Myers of Artn,
Sandra Filippucci, Beverly
Rieser, and Barbara Nessim. This conference was
sponsored by Miller-Freeman
publications and co-produced by Bob Gelman and
Michael Wright is a guest
artist in the computer program run by Tony Longson at
California State Summer
School for the Arts at Humbolt State. Patric Prince is the
principle guest speaker.
"The Computer Generated
Art of Michael Wright" was the artist's first solo
exhibition at Buena Park
City Council Gallery, Buena Park Cal.
The Los Angeles Printmaking
Society's National Exhibition, a bi-yearly event,
was curated by Elizabeth
Smith in '95, Henry Hopkins in '93, and Laddie Dill in '91,
began to exhibit digital
"Artist and Computer" curated
by Scot Canty for
LA Municipal Satellite
Gallery at the WLA City Hall Group show included,
among others, Victor Acevedo,
Dona Geib and
Verbum Gallery of Digital
Art at the 2nd CyberArts International at the
Pasadena Convention Center.
Artists included Victor
Fillipuci, Michael Johnson,
Marius Johnson, Bert Monroy, Barbara Nessim,
Anthony Munn, Ellen Sander/Art
to the Nth, Brian Hughes, Carrie Heeter,
Michael Gosney, Jack Davis,
Jamie Levy, Beverly Reiser, Michael Masucci, Kim McKillip,
Nicole Stenger, Joe Tripcian, M. Aldighieri, Sharon Grace, Jim Gill,
Bob Pringle, Christen
Gruel, Mort Helig and Aaron Ross.
In addition Michael Wright
created on site digital portraits
and exhibited work in the
On Line Gallery which was curated by Patric Prince.
CYBERSPACE GALLERY OPENED
Artist Michael Masucci
and art historian Patric Prince formally open
CyberSpace gallery housed
upstairs at EZTV. CyberSpace was the first
gallery in Los Angeles since
1986 dedicated to electronic art, however with a
more focused curatorial
mandate toward work that was primarily digital.
Ms. Prince was the chair
for ACM/Siggraph traveling exhibition for a number of years. SIGGRAPH,
the worlds largest graphics sig group, makes Southern California a regular
stop on its convention schedule. Ms. Prince also curated the "On
Line Gallery" at the
cutting edge 1990-2 "CyberArts
"Living Gallery" & "Silent
In September a solo exhibition
by Mason Lyte called "Living Gallery"
opened concurrently with
"Silent Partners" the Inaugural exhibition at CyberSpace
Gallery at EZTV. The
Group show included Victor Acevedo, Liz Crimson,
David Glynn, Mason Lyte,
Ken Phipps, M.K. Haley, John Hawk, Guy Marsden,
Laura Ames Riley, Louise
Diedrich, Laurie House, and Michael Wright.
In October the "Digital
Gallery" returns to the 3rd CyberArts International
at the Pasadena Convention
Center . On this
occasion Patric Prince,
Michael Wright, Liz Crimson, Tom Pike, among others
participate in "Portrait
Virus" an interactive internet work and exhibits
his work in the On Line
New York digital artist
Uri Dorthan has a one person show "Mind, Man,
Machine: the computer art
of Uri Dorthan," at the Sam Francis Gallery,
curated by Patric Prince,
in Santa Monica, CA.
In February: "New Art"
opens at CyberSpace Gallery EZTV.
Juried by Patric Prince
and Randal Oliver
this group show included
among others Guy Marsden, Magi Bollock,
Karin Schminke, Frank
Rozazy, Paul Brown, Diane Fenster, Erol Otus,
Susan Ressler, Gerd
Struwe, and Mara Wave.
"Digital Salon Des Independents"
In July "Digital Salon
Des Independents" opens at CyberSpace Gallery. This
exhibition was mounted in
response to "Machine Culture" the purely robotics
and interactive art show
held at the Anaheim convention center as the
Siggraph '93 art show.
disallowed any static or digital print work.
"Digital Salon Des Independents"
participating artists included Victor Acevedo,
Rebecca Allen, Sherie
Lynn Behr, Uri Dothan, Carol Flax, Dona Geib, Jean-Perre
Hebert, Paras Kaul,
Tony Longson, Nancy Macko, Stewart McSherry, Kamran
Moojedi, Barbara Nessim,
Ron Owenby, Edie Paul, Andrew Scott, Richard
Sim, Stephanie Slade,
Howard Smith, Eugenie Trow, Roman Verostko, Victoria Vesna,
and Michael Wright.
"Pictures from the Hyper
EZTV also exhibited
"Pictures from the HyperWorld" curated by Paul Lee.
This exhibition was co-sponsored
by LACPS Group show and included works by
Steve Davis. In September
the Downey Museum of Art mounted an exhibition
called "Computer Influence".
This group show juried by Michael Brodsky
and Scott Ward and included
Victor Acevedo, Ken Goldberg, Glenn Kainno,
Barbara Nessim, Derek Seelig,
TimMcCourt, Robin Valle, Darren Bordier,
Deena des Rioux, David Familian,
Rebecca Bollinger, Steven Monaci,
among others. The exhibition
was curated by art critic Peter Frank.
In October a one person
show: "Tony Longson: reconstruction", curated by
Michael Wright, opens
at the Sam Francis Gallery in Santa Monica, Ca.
In Pomona, California, "Computer
Revelations" opened at the DA Gallery. This
group show included
work by Victor Acevedo, June Alexis, William Brun, Robert Bullock,
Truda Chandlee, Dona
Geib, David Kekone, Nancy Macko, Gloria Martin,
Babette Mayor, Barbara Sultan,
and Byron Wilding.
"A Digital Dialog"
"A Digital Dialog" opened
at Cypress College, Cypress, CA curated by John Bilotta
featured work by David Glynn
and Stewart McSherry among others.
LA Art Fair
In December EZTV-CyberSpace
Gallery is included in The 8th International
LA ART FAIR '93 Los Angeles
Convention Center group show. The artists
exhibited included Mimi
Abers, Victor Acevedo, Sheri Lynn Behr, Steve Davis,
Ken Goldberg, Dianne
Holland, Robert Lowden, Guy Marsden, Laura Ames Riley,
Michael Masucci and Kim McKillip.
In February "Digital Spectrum"
Curated by Fatimeh Holste opened at Mount
San Antonio College, Walnut
Cal. This group exhibition included Victor
Acevedo, Karen Schminke,
Thomas Ward, Michael Johnson, Trici Venola,
Darlene McElroy, David
Lynch, Jon Wokulu, Dona Geib, Howard Smith, and
In July: "Digital LA",
curated by Michael Wright, at Sam Francis Gallery,
Santa Monica CA opened to
the largest crowd in the galleries history. The group show
included Victor Acevedo,
Dona Geib, Michael Wright, Tony Longson,
Liz Crimson, David
Glynn, Kamran Moojedi, Robert Lowden, Bettina Brende,
Mason Lyte, Frank
Rozazy, Nancy Macko, Trici Venula, Louise
Schminke, and Cathie Lamm. This exhibition was
reviewed on Japanese television
"I Sing the Body Electric"
In August the Lancaster
Museum of Art, mounted an exhibition called "I Sing
the Body Electric" curated
by Susan Wiersema. The group show included
Victor Acevedo, Dona
Geib, Stewart Dickson, Rich Sim, Eugenie Trow,
Jaydee, Clinton Price, Robert
McMahan, Darlene Sprunger and Glen Knowles.
This exhibit was reviewed
in the Los Angeles Times.
"Underexposed" at the LA
Municipal Art Gallery
In September the Los Angeles
Municipal Art Gallery, presented
exhibition included digital work curated by Jonathan Green,
Director of the California
Museum of Photography. Digital work by Victor
Acevedo, Lisa Bloomfield,
Molly Bosted, Merrilyn Duzy, Linda Ewing, Ramiro
Fauve, Carol Flax, Amani
Fliers, Dona Geib, Michael Johnson, Tony Kurt,
Howard Smith, Barbara Sultan,
Franklin Westbrook, Corinne
Whitaker, and Michael Wright were included in
the exhibition . This show
was reviewed by major Los Angeles Times art critic
William Wilson, however,
he made no mention of the digital art.
"the Magic Wand, Lasso and
In October, the Conejo Valley
Art Museum in Thousand Oaks, Cal. Presented an
exhibition called "the Magic
Wand, Lasso and Marquee: Computers in the
This exhibition included work by Robin Valle, Amani Fliers,
Mason Lyte, Laurel Paley,
and Michael Wright among others.
In March the Downey Museum
of Art, Downey Cal. presented "Information
National exhibition curated by Patric Prince and Peter Frank.
Included by Victor Acevedo,
Jeff Gates, Diane Fenster, Diane Holland Louise
Krasniewicz, Nancy Maco,
Laurel Paley, Frank Rozasy, and Michael Wright
"Kamran Moojedi: Digital
"Kamran Moojedi: Digital
Works" a one person show curated by Michael Wright
was presented at Sam Francis
Gallery, Santa Monica, Cal. in July. This
exhibition included Moojedi's
famous plotter portraits of Jackson Pollack
and Andy Warhol.
In August the international
ACM/SIGGRAPH '95 conference at the L.A
Convention Center presented
two satellite exhibitions . The SITE Gallery,
Los Angeles, CA. presented
"Digital Site" This Exhibition was sponsored by
the Los Angeles artist-run
organization SITE and co-produced by
Michael Wright and Victor
Acevedo with web site design by Mason Lyte and
Artists in the show included Victor Acevedo, Nancy Buchanan,
David Glynn, Dona Geib,
Ken Goldberg, Jane Gottlieb,
Diane Holland, Mary Hughes, Michael Johnson,
Paras Kaul, Louise
Krasniewicz, Tony Longson, Robert Lowden, Mason Lyte,
Michael Masucci, Kamram
Moojedi, Franklin Odel, Ron Owenby, Laurel Paley,
Frank Rozasy, Lothar Schmitz,
Howard Smith, Robin Valle, Shorty Vassalli,
Trici Venola, and Michael
"Digital Mediations" was
presented by Art Center College of Design as part
of Peter Lunenfeld's "The
Digital Dialectic' conference. This exhibition
included Jim Campbell, Ken
Feingold, Sara Roberts, Bill Seaman, Christa Sommerer,
Laurent Mignonneau, and
In October the Finegood
Art Gallery, West Hills, Cal. presented "Digital
This group show featured work by Victor Acevedo, Truda Chandlee,
Preston Craig, Diane Destiny,
Merrilyn Duzy, Nicholas Fedak, Dona Geib,
Mason Lyte, Ron Ownbey,
Laurel Paley, Audrei Phillips, Karen Schminke, Keri
Seligman, Nathan Singer,
Robin Valle, and Michael Wright.
Michael Wright is juried
into the Los Angeles Printmaking Society's 13th
National Exhibition, with
a digital print, at LaBand Art Gallery,
Loyola Marymount University,
Los Angeles, Cal.
David Glynn exhibits a digital
work at "Vital Signs" Los Angeles Municipal
Art Gallery, Hollywood CA.
"Events from a Virtual World"
a solo show by Mason Lyte is presented at the
DesignArc gallery Santa
"Deux ex Machina"
In February "DEUS EX MACHINA"
is presented at California Polytechnic
College, Pomona, CA.
This group show with panel discussion moderated by
Patric Prince, included
works by Victor Acevedo, Anna Boyiazis, Truda
Chandlee, Merrilyn Duzy,
Nicholas Fedak, Dona Geib, April Greiman,
Babette Mayor, Barbara Nessim,
Audri Phillips, Karin Schminke, Robin Valle,
Trici Venola, and Michael
In March, Digitalogue Gallery
at Bergamont Station in Santa Monica, Cal.
presents "David Glynn",
a solo exhibition of large scale prints.
In October "Computer-Generated
Fine Arts" is mounted by the Riverside
Community College Art Gallery,
Riverside, Cal. This group show included
among others, David Glynn,
Ron Ownby, Dona Geib, John Dingler, Babette Mayer,
and Michael Wright. The
exhibition is reviewed in the Riverside
"L.A. DIGILANTES: a retrospective"
the Museum of Art, Downtown Los Angeles,
featuring Victor Acevedo,
Dona Geib, David Glynn, Louise Krasniewicz,
Tony Longson, Michael Masucci
& Michael R. Wright.